Posts tagged ‘Napa Valley’

2011 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon

 

This is based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

2011 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

Faust logo

 

Overview:

Faust is owned by Agustin Huneeus, the person that created Quintessa.  When I was offered a sample of the latest Faust Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, I almost dislocated my fingers replying to the e-mail offer.

 

I’ve had and enjoyed previous vintages of Faust and I wanted to see what they produced is a less than stellar vintage.

 

 

Faust Vineyard

 

About the company:

Faust, the wine, celebrates a legend which has inspired many great minds, among them the German poet Goethe, from whose masterpiece we draw our inspiration.  In Goethe’s most famous work, the aging scholar Dr. Faust barters his soul in the afterlife in exchange for another chance at youth.  He gets his chance, yet ultimately his soul is saved by love.

 

Faust is indeed the fruit of renewed passion for Agustin Huneeus, though Mephistopheles has not yet appeared to claim his soul.  The underlying premise for all of the wines he has ever produced has been that great wines must be a reflection of a great vineyard.  Faust is not.  Instead, Faust is a tribute to Napa Valley’s noblest grape – full-bodied, decadently rich and unctuous Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Much more information on Agustin and the winery is available on their website by clicking here.

 

 

About Agustin Huneeus:

Behind every great wine stands a passionate vintner.  Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is the creation of Agustin Huneeus and it continues to satisfy his long held desire to produce a wine that embodies the most seductive characteristics of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Born in Santiago, Chile, Agustin is one of the few vintners who has dedicated his entire professional life to wine.  With a career spanning 50 years, he has produced wine in more than 15 countries.  Perhaps best known today for creating Quintessa, the stunning biodynamic vineyard and winery estate he and his wife Valeria own in Rutherford, Napa Valley, Agustin is recognized as a driving force in how fine wine is produced, recognized, sold and marketed in the United States.  The philosophy that great vineyards make great wine is his guiding principle.

 

Agustin Huneeus has been discovering great vineyards of the world throughout a career spanning five decades and 15 countries.  In addition to owning the Quintessa estate in the renowned Rutherford District of Napa Valley, his current vineyard and winery projects include Illumination Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Veramonte winery in Chile’s Casablanca and Colchagua Valley’s, Neyen winery in Chile’s Apalta Valley and Washington’s Longshadows Vintners where he is a partner.  In 2009, the Huneeus family forged a partnership with Joan and Walt Flowers of Flowers Vineyards & Winery, pioneering vintners who in 1989, established two extraordinary vineyards dedicated to world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the extreme Sonoma Coast.  In 2010, the Huneeus family purchased two edgy wines, The Prisoner, a Napa Valley red blend, and Saldo, a Zinfandel from some of California’s most revered vineyards.

 

 

Fineman PR Logo

This sample was provided by the winery and Fineman PR.

Fineman PR unites large-agency talent, small-agency responsiveness and internationally recognized strategic direction. We are a full-service agency specializing in Brand PR and crisis communications, creating and executing award-winning public relations programs.

For more information, please visit their website by clicking here.

 

 

 

2011 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon – SRP $60

The 2011 vintage saw cool spring temperatures and moderate rainfall that pushed bud break, flowering, and fruit-set back two weeks.  The cooler temperatures continued into summer, making canopy management essential.  A warm September month allowed the grapes to ripen and mature.  However, this was followed by an early October rain which challenged the skills of our viticulturists who responded with careful canopy management, crop removal where warranted, and a lot of patience.  The four weeks of Indian summer that followed the rain allowed the remaining grapes to ripen evenly.  Extensive selective picking and sorting was employed to ensure that the grapes that reached the tanks were in optimal condition.   All grapes were hand-picked, double-sorted and crushed, then cold-soaked and fermented in both French oak and stainless steel tanks.  After an extended maceration, Faust was aged for 19 months in 100% French oak, 30% new.

 

The wine is a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec and 1% Cabernet Franc.  Most of the grapes come from Agustin’s family vineyards in Rutherford and Coombsville with small lots from vineyards in Yountville, Mount Veeder, Atlas Peak, St. Helena and Rutherford.  These purchased grapes from spectacular mountain and valley terroirs are used to round out the wine.

 

The wine has 14.2% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep violet color.  The sexy nose has cassis, cedar, warm baking spices, dusty minerals, dark bittersweet chocolate, vanilla bean and subtle earthiness.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  Rich berries and cedar envelope the palate initially with baking spices and minerals coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with dark chocolate, some earthiness and a slight herbal note adding depth.  This is drinking nicely today but some time in the cellar will be rewarded.  (92 pts)

2011 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon

2011 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

Closing Thoughts

If you are looking for a rich, full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley, Faust would be a wonderful choice.  This wine has very good balance and the complexity to appeal to wine lovers and the rich, velvety fruit to appeal to people who just want something good to drink.  At $60 a bottle, I would tend to steer guests in the second category to another selection, unless they are very good friends, and keep this one only for true wine lovers.  This is more of a wine to enjoy over its first several years and not one to stash in the cellar for a decade.  Enjoy it while the fruit is young and vibrant.

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2014 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Three from Robert Mondavi Winery

 

This is based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

2011 Robert Mondavi Winery Chardonnay

2012 Robert Mondavi Winery Pinot Noir

2011 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

 

 

rmLogo

 

The Robert Mondavi Winery history is full of triumphs and disappointments.  The winery that Robert Mondavi founded and poured his heart into, eventually caused him his biggest heart breaks.  The downfall for the family began when they took the company public.  This money making venture, years down the road, lead to the family being pushed out of the picture.

 

Robert Mondavi Winery (from the winery)

Robert Mondavi established his namesake winery in 1966 with a vision to create Napa Valley wines that would stand in the company of the world’s finest.  He chose To Kalon Vineyard in the heart of the Napa Valley as the home for Robert Mondavi Winery. This first-growth vineyard, located in Oakville, California, is renowned for producing some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon wines in the world, as well as for its Sauvignon Blanc grapes, from which Mr. Mondavi crafted his signature wine, Fumé Blanc.

 

Along with To Kalon Vineyard, Robert Mondavi Winery sources grapes from some of Napa Valley’s finest vineyards, including Stag’s Leap (Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc) and Carneros (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay).

 

Mr. Mondavi believed that wines should reflect their origins, that they are the product of the soil, the climate, and the careful stewardship of those precious resources. He also believed in combining the newest techniques and technology with time-honored winemaking traditions.

 

Our winemaking and vineyard teams are proud to carry on our founder’s mandate to always strive higher, to pursue Robert Mondavi’s goal of excellence with the same passion and innovative spirit, moving forward with programs that break barriers and open new frontiers.

 

Leading this initiative is Genevieve Janssens, Director of Winemaking. Genevieve, whose relationship with the winery began in 1978, was selected Winemaker of the Year by Wine Enthusiast in 2010.

 

 

Mondavi Logo

 

 

The wines

The wines for this tasting:

Robert Mondavi line up

 

 

 

2011 Robert Mondavi Winery Chardonnay – SRP $19

This 100% Chardonnay is made from grapes sourced from:

56% Carneros (Napa Valley), 24% Napa Valley, 14% Stag’s Leap District and 6% Russian River Valley.  The grapes were whole cluster pressed.  75% of the juice was fermented in French oak with 15% being new.  The remaining 25% was cold fermented in stainless steel tanks.  Some of the wine went through malolactic fermentation.

 

The wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light yellow to straw color.  The fresh and fruity nose has apples, melon, pears, vanilla, baking spices, minerals, orange blossoms and lemon zest.  This has medium body, fairly creamy mouth feel with crisp acidity and just a slight trace of lingering sweetness.  On the palate the white orchard fruit and spices grab the palate initially before minerals and mouthwatering citrus kick in and take over.  The finish has decent length with minerals, citrus, and a bit of oak carrying the load.  A touch of residual sugar adds nice richness without making the wine off dry.  This is a food friendly Chardonnay that would also make for a nice glass with friends and conversation.  (88 pts)

2011 Robert Mondavi Winery Chardonnay

2011 Robert Mondavi Winery Chardonnay

 

 

2012 Robert Mondavi Winery Pinot Noir – SRP $26

This wine is made of 100% Napa Carneros Pinot Noir.  Select vineyard blocks were whole cluster fermented, most were destemmed and crushed prior to fermentation.  The wine was fermented in French oak and had 21 days of skin contact.  After fermentation, the wine was gently pressed into French oak (26% new) for malolactic fermentation and five months of aging before being bottled in April 2013.

 

The wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume and the bottles are sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright cherry red color.  The earthy nose has plums, earthy underbrush, baking spices, cherries and a touch of cola.  This has medium body, soft tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate plums, cherries and spice hit first then the earthy elements take over.  The finish has decent length with the earthy elements in control and the fruit providing some needed sweetness in the background.  A middle of the road style of Pinot Noir, some upfront fruit but not overly ripe and rich like some of the California Pinots.  (86 pts)

2012 Robert Mondavi Winery Pinot Noir

2012 Robert Mondavi Winery Pinot Noir

 

 

2011 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – SRP $28

The 2011 vintage was a difficult one in the Napa Valley.  There was tenacious morning fog, unseasonably cool weather and rainfall at flowering time and during the October harvest.

 

This wine is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot.  The grapes were sourced from 100% Napa Valley vineyards including To Kalon Vineyard (35%) and Wappo Hill Vineyard (13%).

 

The grapes were gently destemmed into stainless steel tanks and oak tanks.  There was a 26 day maceration to maximize the extraction of color and flavor.  This also helped polish the tannins for a rich, supple mouthfeel.  The finished wine was transferred to 60 gallon French oak barrels (13% new) for malolactic fermentation.  The wine received 16 months of barrel aging before being bottled in May 2013.

 

The wine has 14.0% alcohol by volume and the bottles are sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light to medium ruby red color.  The expressive nose has cassis, tomato leaf, minerals, mocha, cedar, fresh sage and thyme, and violets.  The wine has medium body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the wine shows the cool vintage with a fair amount of tomato leaf and fresh herbs to go with the fruit.  The finish has fair length again showing the herbal side of the Cabernet grape.  This is a wine that will go well with food but is not a wine to sip on its own.  This isn’t a Cabernet to lock away in the cellar, serve it with a burger or roast beef over the next couple of years.  This wine does have a distinct green streak that will not agree with a lot of wine enthusiasts.  (84 pts)

2011 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

2011 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2013 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

%d bloggers like this: